From Dinosaurs to Birds The history of birds is entwined with that of the dinosaurs. When the great extinction wiped out most life on earth 65 million years ago; one branch of the Dinosauria survived: The birds! By Don Merlin November 23rd, 2009 The Earliest Fossils Theropods The Raptor Connection Archeopteryx- The Early Wing Are Pterodactyls Birds? Kentucky Fried Dinos Web Links To find out more and perhaps even be entertained and educated click on a bird above.
This is Archaeopteryx, a fossil first found in 1861. If it was not For the clear imprint of feathers This animal would have been classified as a reptile. Note the claws, teeth and tail.
It is believed by paleontologists that Birds are descended from the two legged Theropod Dinosaurs.
The Raptors were small theropod Dinosaurs. Recent discoveries in China have unearthed many Raptors with feather impressions pointing directly to the link between Raptors and their descendents; the Birds. The bones of Raptors and Birds also reveal their kinship.
Archaeopteryx – “The Early Wing” and was about the size of a crow. It probably ate anything smaller than itself. How good a flyer it was is a matter of debate, though it could certainly glide about the Jurassic, German forests that it called home. There are only eleven known fossils most of which have feathers. Because Archaeopteryx' feathers were very advanced it is thought that feathers had been evolving for quite some time. Except for the teeth, tail and three fingered hands, this small dinosaur could easily be mistaken for a modern bird. This small raptor like animal was
Pterodactyls were not birds but a much older lineage of flying reptiles that dominated the skies for over 153 million years. The largest known flying creature ever was a pterodactyl called Quetzalcoatlus with a wingspan of 33 to 36 feet!
Scientists believe that they can reverse engineer a Raptor by turning off specific genes in chicken embryos. The genetic legacy of the Birds Dinosaur ancestors are locked away in their DNA. Meantime, if you want to see dinosaurs, you will have to look to the skies at their high flying ancestors; the Birds!
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